Lake Oswego outlasts Tualatin 34-27
The Tualatin football team wasn't going to give up — not until the final play expired.
The Laker Oswego football team wasn't going to lose — not even if it took until the final play.
In the end, both teams did what they set out to do on Friday, with the Lakers holding off a furious second-half Tualatin rally to beat the Timberwolves 34-27 at Lake Oswego High School.
"As a team, we banded together and just worked really hard in the second half to be able to pull out that 'W,'" said Lake Oswego senior wide receiver Kameron Harvey, who made three catches for 41 yards and three touchdowns.
"Going into halftime, I was preaching that this is just one of those kinds of games where we could go into the second half and let down, so don't give up. Finish it," said senior wide receiver Jordan Newlin, who added six catches for 110 yards and one TD. "Last year … we had some finishing issues so I just said 'Finish it.'"
With the win — sixth-ranked Lake Oswego's second straight — the Lakers improved to 2-1 in Three Rivers League play and 4-1 overall. No. 12 Tualatin, meanwhile, lost for a second straight time and fell to 1-2 in TRL play and 3-2 overall.
"They're a good team. They have a lot of talent," said Tualatin sophomore running back Kainoa Sayre, who led all rushers with 18 carries for 139 yards and three touchdowns. "But I feel like we played well. I feel like we just ran out of time really."
"I'm proud of how we played tonight," added Tualatin senior running back/defensive back Lucas Noland, who made one of his team's two interceptions on Friday. "It's an unfortunate outcome — it's a loss — but the way we played the second half reflects our team, not the first half."
After a trade of punts to open the game, Lake Oswego's defense came through with the first big play of the contest. With Tualatin facing a third-and-seven from its own 23-yard line, Lake Oswego senior defensive lineman Shawn Elliott picked off a screen pass by Wolves quarterback Blake Jackson at the 25 and took it all the way back to the Tualatin three.
From there, on third down, Laker quarterback Jake Dukart rolled to his left and hit Harvey in the left side of the end zone for the game's first score and — following the first of Jake Bazant's four extra points — a 7-0 lead with 4 minutes, 44 second left in the first quarter.
Tualatin responded with an 80-yard scoring drive that took just 2:01 off the clock, showcased the Wolves' powerful running game (as well as two Laker penalties for 28 yards) and ended when Sayre's four-yard TD run cut the deficit to 7-6.
But the Lakers answered with three straight scores to seemingly take control of the game. The first of those came at the end of a six-play 68-yard drive when Dukart hit Newlin for an 18-yard over-the-shoulder catch at the left post that made it 14-6.
After a Tualatin punt, the Lakers needed just three plays to score, with Newlin picking up 38 yards on a diving catch, and one play later, Dukart connecting with Harvey in the right corner of the end zone for a 21-6 lead with 10:04 to go in the second quarter.
The Wolves pushed back near midfield on their next series, but on first down at the 45, Lake Oswego junior defensive back Keenan DeRaeve picked off a tipped Tualatin screen pass and took it back 49 yards to score and give his team a 27-6 lead with 8:55 to go in the half.
"I just saw it coming, he tipped it, I picked it and it was unreal," DeRaeve. "It just didn't feel real. It was awesome."
Tualatin, however, did not fold. The Timberwolves scored just 17 seconds later when Sayre took a pitch around left end and raced 56 yards to cut the Laker lead to 27-13 — a score that held up until the half.
The third quarter, however, belonged to Tualatin. Noland stopped the Lakers' first series when he picked off Dukart near midfield, and eight plays later, Nathan Marx barreled into the end zone from four yards to bring his team within 27-20 with 7:36 to go in the third period.
Things got worse for the Lakers before they got better, too. On Lake Oswego's next offensive play from scrimmage, Tualatin's Colby Jackson picked off Dukart on a second straight throw and set the table for a 60-yard Tualatin drive that included a 24-yard Marx run on a fake punt, and seven plays later, a five-yard Sayre TD run over right guard that tied the contest at 27-27 with 3:06 left in the period.
That score seemed to rouse the Lakers' slumbering offense, which came back with a 70-yard scoring drive that produced the game-winning score. Newlin made two catches for 25 yards, senior wide receiver Mikey Jeanson made a nine-yard catch, broke a tackle on the right sideline and turned it into a 27-yard pickup, and two plays later, Dukart hit Harvey for a leaping 21-yard TD catch at the right flag that gave Lake Oswego a 34-27 lead with 11:53 still remaining on the clock.
After that, it was up to the Laker defense, and the "D" responded. First, LO forced a three-and-out. Then, after a brief LO offensive series, Tualatin drove deep into Laker territory — with Jackson completing five straight passes for 54 yards — before Lake Oswego stopped Sayre short of a first down on fourth-and-six at the Lakers' 15-yard line.
The Lakers punted the ball back to Tualatin with 38 seconds left, the Wolves moved to the LO 32, and on third down, Jackson threw to Jackson Willig at the right flag with LO's Matt Sebolsky defending — but the pass was wide and fell incomplete. On the next play, with 3.7 seconds left, Jackson's pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage and picked off by LO's Dawson Jaramillo.
Jackson "stood in there and did a job at quarterback," Noland said. "The first half was just a reflection of us trying to get used to him, but I'm proud of him and I think the second half is what our team's about."
For their part, the Lakers were glad to get out with a win.
"I was on the end of the sidelines stressing out, going 'We need to get a big play here' and it came out," Newlin said.
For the game, Dukart went 14 of 30 passing for 219 yards with four TDs and two interceptions, while Casey Filkins led LO rushers with 18 carries for 82 yards. Jackson was 15 of 25 for 134 yards with four interceptions.
Next up, Lake Oswego play at Sherwood at 7 p.m. Friday, while Tualatin hosts Newberg at 7 p.m.